FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) — A National Guardsman was arrested
yesterday and accused of trying to provide information to the
al-Qaida terrorist network, the Army said.
Army Lt. Col. Stephen Barger said Spc. Ryan Anderson was being
held at Fort Lewis “pending criminal charges of aiding the
enemy by wrongfully attempting to communicate and give intelligence
to the al-Qaida terrorist network.” Anderson, 26, will remain
at the base near Tacoma.
Barger declined to give any details on the arrest, including
what information allegedly was given to al-Qaida or how it was
Anderson converted to Islam five years ago, and studied military
history with an emphasis on the Middle East while attending
Washington State University, the Everett Herald reported last
Anderson is a tank crew member from the National Guard’s
81st Armor Brigade, a 4,000-member unit set to depart for Iraq for
a one-year deployment. It is the biggest deployment for the
Washington Army National Guard since World War II.
The brigade has been training at Fort Lewis since November.
Eighty percent of the soldiers — 3,200 — are from
Washington state, and 1,000 are from guard units in California and
It includes two tank battalions, a mechanized infantry
battalion, engineers, support troops, artillery and an intelligence
Washington State University spokeswoman Charleen Taylor said
Anderson was a 2002 graduate with a degree in history. He graduated
from Everett’s Cascade High School in 1995.